grace, grateful, haPPY, pure goodness

one cracked egg

The idea of writing a book is exciting and happy and a bit daunting.  One of the things we are asking for from our friends, neighbors, co-workers are to share their egg stories.    Then it hit me, I should probably share one egg story of my own.

While living in Oklahoma, we met a nice couple attending our church.  They seemed nice enough, two kids about our kids age.  When your kiddos are in that 7-10 year age group, finding good families with kids the same age is mighty important.  Anyhow, we became and are really good friends.  We found things we had in common……both wives belonged to a fraternal group, International Rainbow Girls, while growing up.  Her in Nebraska, me in Washington.   I put on a special baptism luncheon for their children.  When we renewed our wedding vows, she ended up hosting a lovely wedding reception for us.  Our lives intertwined and we worked well together on several projects.   When he went to the first Gulf War……we stood by them.  We went to the welcome home reception, when he and his unit marched through the doors……….I still get a lump in my throat.  Oh did I forget to mention, both men were in the Army?

One thing about the military. Say what you want, like it or not, Officers and Enlisted folks do not keep company with each other during non work time.   We always had believable excuses…. we met at church, we didn’t know what rank anyone was (haha….you always know what rank everyone is), our kids liked to play together, we were Rainbow girls before the dang Army entered into any of this, we liked being friends, we are church friends……………..

Heidelberg, GermanyThe Army “invited” them to move to Heidelberg, Germany.  We tearfully said our goodbyes.  They moved. Then in a weird twist, the Army “invited” us to move.  Mr. Right got orders for Landstuhl, Germany.  We had to go.  We moved.  As it sometimes works out beautifully, we lived about an hour away from our friends.  When you live in another country, you cling to your friends during holiday times, birthdays, major life happenings.  You lean on each other in good times & bad.

Easter was coming.  We were invited to share Easter church service and an Easter Brunch with our friends in Heidelberg.  We spent the night, only one trip to the hospital for stitches on our oldest’s noggin, a little game of football in the maid’s quarters got a bit rough…………sigh………….everyone fine…………moving on, church in the morning……….I forgot my make-up bag………GASP……..she came to the rescue and let me borrow some of hers……………………Okay, home for brunch.

I must tell you that I love and adore my friend.  She is an amazing interior decorator.  Stunning, sought after, requested, waiting list, really that good.  She is an amazing teacher and artist.  Simply stunning work.  We have several hand painted Christmas ornaments that she has given us.  We are still amazed with the quality of her work.  As a military wife……………I was in awe.  She could take a very plain, functional, dull, military housing and magically turn it into a work of art.  A home worthy of a magazine spread.  Yes, she is that good.

The table was set.  It was remarkable.  Each place setting had a silver plate charger.  Gorgeous butter cream napkins.  The linen table-cloth draped in puddles to the remarkable Turkish rug beneath.   Take your breath away, European thin, exquisite,  china and crystal.  Each, several piece place setting, a work of art.  Yes, even for the little children.  No, there was not a children’s table.  We were a family and would dine as such.  They would rise to the occasion.  Remarkably, they always did.  Then I noticed the eggs.  Each place setting had (yes, I still have ours) an exquisite, beautiful, amazing, painstakingly, hand painted egg. Easter eggs two Somehow even the kiddos knew how special each egg was.  Some of the brush strokes were so small, you wondered how thin the brush must have been.   The center piece was as extraordinary as you could ever imagine.   It was a huge Ostrich egg.  It was hand painted with lilies and vines and flowers and rocks and colors swirled together.  It was sitting on a crystal pedestal.  There was grass and smaller eggs and bunnies near the base.  “The” egg was the crowning glory of her stunning, well laden table.  The moment we all took it in, I glanced at Mr. Right.  We didn’t even have to say anything.  It was that special, that lovely.  Easter eggs

May I help you put the food on the table?  Sure, sure.  Okay, kids…………go wash up for brunch.   Movement, music on…….kids rough housing, jostling, bumping, pushing, jabbing, laughing, giggling, more jostling……………..you KNOW what I am going to say.  The table was bumped.  “The” egg, fell off the pedestal.  In what seemed like slow motion, it rolled off the pedestal and fell onto the table and broke into three or four pieces.  EVERYONE WAS SILENT.   No one said a word.   The men, stepped in and ushered the kids into the bathroom to wash up.

I thought with everything SO perfect, so much effort and time and love and care that went into the brunch presentation that quite possibly, my dear friend Melodie would have a major melt down.  At least crying and sobbing and fist pounding and thrashing………………….  she stood there silent for about 15 seconds, staring at “the” pieces of the egg.

She stepped over, gathered up the biggest broken piece, took it to the kitchen, got out a black sharpie…………… inside the broken shell, on the smooth, clean, surface, she wrote the words, (if I close my eyes, I can still see her handwriting)

  “He has Risen” .  She walked over and placed the pieces all on the pedestal.  She was smiling.

That moment in time, Melodie, taught me, my family, her family,  a lesson, not one of us will ever forget.  Grace, has a way of finding us and helping us when we need it most.

Grace, it’s Amazing.

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